Ethiopia Update: Accomplishing Our Mission Together
Over 125,000 Meals provided, 3 Villages Saved, 5,000 Fed & 1,000s of prayers answered! Recently, thanks to the generous and compassionate giving of our donors, we were able to continue our mission of “going where Angels fear to tread.” Our International Emergency Relief Director led a brave group of dedicated Good Samaritans into the heart of war-torn Ethiopia to deliver over 125,000 meals to almost 1,000 families! But the miracles don’t end there, the three villages that your CHRF Emergency Relief Team traveled to have not been helped by any NGO or any other charitable organization; in fact, their own Ethiopian government was unaware of these village's existence! Without CHRF Donors and the generous commitment of people like YOU to help others, these villages might have been completely forgotten! On behalf of the CHRF team and everyone that we have helped together, thank you for not neglecting those who need your help, thank you for not forsaking these three villages and the hundreds of children and families living within them. Together we are continuing to bring hope to the hopeless. A new ray of life, light and promise of a better future has been provided to these precious children and their families. Among the brave team was CHRF’s very own Board Director Dr. Monte E. Wilson. He has written a letter to our team, including you, about his recent trip: Ethiopia: August 2012 “In keeping with our mission, we arranged to have 22 tons of food delivered to three villages where there was no aid being provided by NGOs or the Government. These villages are so remote the Government doesn’t even know that they exist. These trips are always difficult but this was one of those trips where you had better be called of God to do this. Every aspect of a trip of this nature and magnitude will test you. We cannot save all of the children, but we must help to save as many as we possibly can. Preparation: No matter how many times I do this, I am never quite prepared for the emotional experience. Getting out of our truck I can hear the quiet weeping of mothers, crying children… and I am still a block away. Right before walking onto the field where hundreds of families are waiting I pray for strength. At the first village, when we waded into the crowd, there were three women furiously slapping each other. A man tries to stop them but a woman blindsides him with a full fisted blow between his shoulder blades. The mothers are assured that they will all receive food. Peace is restored. The grief in the air is palatable. I have to gather myself and not break down weeping over the plight of these suffering people. If we detach too much, we fail to communicate compassion and the love of God for these people. If we don’t detach enough, we can’t do our work. What Are We Doing Here? “Think about the good that is happening here, Monte. You are introducing hope where there was none. Focus on hope. Focus.” I keep reminding myself. Watching Henoc (our team Doctor) and his two nurses walking through the crowds looking for children with orange hair and other signs of malnutrition. I am shocked at how often they stop and whisper to a mother, “Please bring your baby forward.” Each time he leans over to whisper, my heart sinks even lower. Child after child after child … many looking like those people we have all seen in photos from the Holocaust: nothing but bones with some skin barely hanging on their skeleton. The next village is even worse. That night we find some huts where we can sleep. Who can sleep after this? My heart is suffering. I am alone now, I pray for these people, for their children. The third village was eerily silent. Hundreds and hundreds of people sitting: silently staring at us with desperation blazing in their eyes. I get down on my knees and begin shoveling wheat into bags being held by mothers. I am told to keep it to fourteen scoops. As I sat next to a grandmother who asked me to hold her child, our doctor interpreted what she was telling me. She has four grandchildren. Their father was killed and their mother has gone missing. One child is sick with an incurable disease and will not live much longer. Does she stop giving her sick 8-month old baby-child food because she was taking precious food out of the mouths of her three other children whom can still recover from their lack of strength and food? My heart is too heavy for words after hearing her story. I went back and thought, what if I had to choose between helping any of my five children that I love so much. I was overcome, ruined, sick with just the thought of having to face such a cruel decision, imagining and realizing that these stories are real, with real people, real children, real lives and real death. I am alone, free to pray, free to weep, free to mourn. I stand; this is why I am here, to bring hope to the hopeless. I see some children playing with a ball. As I look closer, I see that the “ball” is made out of rags. Every few moments they have to stop and rewind the rags and then the game resumes. They are incredibly happy! Amazing. I run over and play with them for a few minutes. Their happiness in these conditions is miraculous, and contagious. A ten-year-old girl came up to me with her baby sister, I asked her where her mother was, she said that her mother had been killed and that she was the mother now, a ten year old! Forced to take care of her younger sister with no one to watch or provide for these two girls. Can you imagine a ten-year-old taking on the responsibilities of motherhood? This is almost too unbelievable to be true, but it is very real, we can forsake these children or we can continue together to bring as much help as we can to them. It was a great trip. We delivered twenty-two tons of food for 968 families. That comes out to 5000 people receiving around 126,000 meals that will last each family for one month. It’s about $23.22 per family … $23 to feed a family for a month? Wow. Such a small amount of money to feed so many people and bring them hope.” Every day CHRF and our partners work and strive to provide, care for and bring hope to the innocent and hungry children around the world. We thank you for your care, concern and interest in joining with our commitment to change the world, one child at a time.